Have you ever worked in an organization where some people receive lavish praise from higher ups for the most modest of achievements, while others do remarkable things but receive, at best, an obligatory nod from the folks in charge?
This happens a lot in highly factionalized workplaces, especially when a core group enjoys considerable power and tends to marginalize those not in their circle. It’s a way of affirming who and what “counts” in the eyes of the Powers That Be. When favoritism and clique membership are baked into an organization’s culture, those on the outside will be reminded of their place when their good work is greeted by silence or a grudging acknowledgment.
Furthermore, especially in fields or professions where many assessments are subjective, it’s easy to make up reasons why some work is worthy of recognition and other work is not. Smart, manipulative individuals in leadership positions can raise such rationalizations to an art form.
In many cases, the outsiders may not be in danger of losing their jobs, but they will have to derive more of their work satisfaction from within, rather than wait for kudos that are unlikely to come their way. This hardly ranks among the greatest of workplace injustices, but it’s a needless way of lowering overall employee morale. It also can plant the seeds for more serious worker mistreatment if things start to turn sour within the organization.
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